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Wellington Zoo: Chomel the sun-bear dies after stroke

Press Release – Wellington City Council
The difficult decision was made to euthanase Wellington Zoo’s elderly female Malayan sun-bear Chomel yesterday morning after she failed to respond to treatment for what veterinary staff suspect was a stroke.

General Manager Operations Mauritz Basson says that Chomel collapsed in her enclosure on 29 September with stroke symptoms. Despite immediate veterinary attention and overnight monitoring, the condition of the 21 year old sun-bear deteriorated further and she failed to respond to treatment.

“Staff here are very sad at losing Chomel – she was in many ways a special animal and had only recently passed her veterinary health-check,” Mr Basson says.

“Chomel was the mother of three cubs, including our own precious Sasa born here at Wellington Zoo at this time of year three years ago, and was for quite a long time the only successful breeding female in Australasia.”

The Zoo’s Manager Conservation and Veterinary Science Dr Katja Geschke says that the CT scan conducted by Pacific Radiology yesterday showed no tumour or abscess in the brain and the most likely diagnosis was consistent with a stroke.

“Our post-mortem results so far showed changes in Chomel’s heart consistent with high blood pressure. The closer examination of her brain by Massey University will hopefully reveal the full extent of what happened. ” Dr Geschke says.

Chomel leaves behind offspring Sasa and the Zoo’s male sun-bear Sean-father of Sasa who came to the Zoo from Perth Zoo after being rescued in Cambodia by Free the Bears.

The bears’ enclosure is due for significant renovations in the new financial year, as part of the Zoo’s ten-year capital development plan.

ends

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1 comment:

  1. Allen Nyhuis, 5. October 2009, 9:06

    Sorry to hear about this. Sun bears are among the more enchanting animals to see in zoos, so I’m sure this bear will be missed.

    Allen Nyhuis, Coauthor: America’s Best Zoos